Count stems after harvest

Canola stems

The ideal plant stand is 7 to 14 plants per square foot, and any canola crop with fewer than 5 plants per square foot is not reaching its yield potential. A fall count of stems provides an end-of-season assessment of this year’s stand.

To do a stem count, growers can…

(1) Count the stems per metre of row. Take that number and multiply by 100 then divide by the seed row spacing in cm to get plants per square metre. For example, 25 plants per metre multiplied by 100 then divided by 25 cm (10” row spacing) is 100 plants per square metre. Divide by 10 to get plants per square foot.

(2) Use a hoop with an inside diameter of 56 cm. This is equivalent to 0.25 of a square metre. Count the stems inside the hoop, and multiply by 4 to get plants per square metre. Then divide by 10 if you want plants per square foot. Repeat counts a few times throughout the field.